nep-for New Economics Papers
on Forecasting
Issue of 2005‒07‒11
six papers chosen by
Rob J Hyndman
Monash University

  2. Can option smiles forecast changes in interest rates? An application to the US, the UK and the euro area By Marcello Pericoli
  3. On the Rationality of the General Public By GEBHARD KIRCHGÄSSNER
  4. China’s Economic Growth 1978-2025: What We Know Today about China’s Economic Growth Tomorrow By Carsten A. Holz
  5. Verbesserung der Vergleichbarkeit von Schätzgüteergebnissen von Insolvenzprognosestudien (German version of 'Improving the comparability of insolvency predictions') By Martin Bemmann
  6. A dynamic look at subprime loan performance By Michelle A. Danis; Anthony Pennington-Cross

  1. By: Andrea Nobili (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the usefulness of several measures of financial spreads (the slope of the yield curve, the reverse yield gap, the credit quality spread) for fore-casting real economic activity and inflation in the euro area. A quarterly Bayesian vector autoregression model is used to assess the marginal forecasting power of fi-nancial spreads for real economic activity and inflation. A benchmark BVAR is set up, containing real GDP, inflation and key indicators of monetary policy and foreign macroeconomic variables. The properties of the spreads as leading indicator are then assessed by augmenting the benchmark BVAR with the spreads, one at a time. We find that financial spreads have no or negligible marginal predictive con-tent for either target variable. Overall, there is no ready-to-use financial indicator that can replace an encompassing multivariate model for the prediction of target variables in the euro area.
    Keywords: financial spreads, bayesian VAR models, bayesian analysis, forecasting
    JEL: C11 C32 C53
    Date: 2005–02
  2. By: Marcello Pericoli (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the use of risk-neutral probability density functions implied in 3-month interest-rate futures options to assess market perceptions regarding future monetary policy moves options allow the information content implied in simpler derivatives to be extended by providing indicators for asymmetry and extreme values. First, a cubic spline is implemented to evaluate the densities. Second, the methodology is applied to quotes on deposits denominated in US dollars, euros and sterling from January 1999 toMay 2004 results show that markets correctly forecast the monetary easing of 2001 in the United States in the course of the second half of 2000, but not in the euro area and the United Kingdom. The evidence for the tightening cycle of 1999 is mixed: markets expected an increase in euro area policy rates at the beginning of 1999 expectations were less clear for the United States’ interest-rate increases. In the case of the United Kingdom the increase was not foreseen.
    Keywords: risk-neutral density, cubic spline, monetary policy, interest-rate futures options
    JEL: C52 E58 G13 G14 G15
    Date: 2005–02
    Abstract: Using Allensbach survey data about how people look forward to the coming year, we construct true ex post-forecasts and compare them with the forecasts produced by the German Council of Economic Experts and by the Economic Research Institutes. Then, we perform rationality tests for these forecast series. The Allensbach forecasts outperform the professional forecasts in many respects. Finally, we ask whether information included in short-term interest rates is reflected in the different forecasts. We show that the Allensbach forecasts seem to fully take into account this information, while the professional forecasts do not. Thus, when making expectations, the German general public seems to consider more information than the professional forecasters.
    JEL: C53
    Date: 2005–07
  4. By: Carsten A. Holz (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology)
    Abstract: Views of the future China vary widely. While some believe that the collapse of China is inevitable, others see the emergence of a new superpower that increasingly poses a threat to the U.S. This paper examines the economic growth prospects of China over the next two decades. Extrapolating past real GDP growth rates into the future, the size of the Chinese economy surpasses that of the U.S. in purchasing power terms between 2012 and 2015; by 2025, China is likely to be the world's largest economic power by almost any measure. The extrapolations are supported by two types of considerations. First, China’s growth patterns of the past 25 years since the beginning of economic reforms match well those identified by standard economic development and trade theories (structural change, catching up, and factor price equalization). Second, decomposing China’s GDP growth into growth of labor and other variables, the near-certain information available today about the quantity and quality of Chinese laborers through 2015 and possibly several years after allows inferences about future GDP growth. Short of some cataclysmic event, and given a continuation of the generally sound economic policies of the past, demographics alone suggests China’s continued economic rise. If talent is randomly distributed in the world population and if agglomeration of talent is important, then the odds are strongly in China’s favor.
    Keywords: economic growth, growth accounting, growth forecasts, development theories, human capital formation, education (all: China)
    JEL: O1 O10 O11 O4 O40 O47 O53 J11 O3 I21
    Date: 2005–07–03
  5. By: Martin Bemmann (Dresden University of Technology Faculty of Business Management & Economics)
    Abstract: This working paper aims at improving the comparability of forecast quality measures of insolvency prediction studies. For this purpose, in a first step commonly used accuracy measures for categorial, ordinal and cardinal insolvency predictions are presented. It will be argued, that ordinal measures are the most suitable measures for sample spanning comparisons concerning predictive power of rating models, as they are not affected by sample default rates. A method for transforming cardinal into ordinal accuracy measures is presented, by which comparisons of insolvency prediction results of older and present-day studies are enabled. In the second part of the working paper an overview of influencing variables – aside from the quality of the insolvency prediction methods – is given, which affect the accuracy measures presented in the first part of the paper and thus impair sample spanning comparison of empirically obtained forecast quality results. In this context, methods for evaluating information losses that are attributable to the discretization of continuous rating scales or preselection of portfolios are developed. Measure results of various insolvency prognosis studies are envisaged and compared with three benchmarks. First benchmark is the accuracy that can be achieved solely by taking into account legal status and industry classification of corporations. The second benchmark is the univariate prognosis accuracy of single financial ratios. As third benchmark, ALTMAN’s Zscore model is examined, a multivariate insolvency prediction model, that is currently used as reference rating model in many empirical studies. It turns out, however, that the Z-score’s forecast quality is so discontenting, that its application is not recommendable. Instead it is suggested to use those rating models that are cited in this discussion paper, which are fully documented and which therefore can be rebuilt and directly applied to any desired data sample. If applied to the respective target groups, their performance matches with the performance of commercial rating systems, like bureau and business scores for rather small companies, middle market rating models for SMB, or agency ratings for large public companies.
    Keywords: financial ratio analysis, corporate bankruptcy prediction, forecast validation, accuracy ratio, information entropy, sample selection, rating granularity
    JEL: G33 C14
    Date: 2005–07–06
  6. By: Michelle A. Danis; Anthony Pennington-Cross
    Abstract: This paper examines the implications of delinquency on the performance of subprime mortgages. Specifically, we examine whether delinquency has any predictive power of the future performance of a mortgage. Using a sample of subprime mortgages from the Loan performance database on securitized private-label pool collateral, we utilize a two-step estimation procedure to control for the endogeneity of delinquency in an estimation of default and prepayment probabilities. We find strong support for the *distressed prepayment* theory that very delinquent loans are more likely to prepay than to default and that the rate of increase of prepayment is substantially larger as delinquency intensity increases. Delinquency predominately leads to termination of a loan through prepayment while negative equity leads to termination through default.
    Keywords: Mortgages
    Date: 2005

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